People Save Dogs, but Dogs Can Also Save People

Sharing Gala’s situation last week triggered an avalanche of reaction. Many, many suggestions for trainers, meds, herbal supplements, etc. And more than that—lots of support and encouragement, which is maybe what I needed most. Sadly, it did not trigger any adoption applications.

I want to be clear, I was not suggesting that it is time to euthanize Gala. I don’t believe she’s out of options. And I ABSOLUTELY believe she can be successful and happy in the right adoptive home. What drove my frustration and sadness is that I’m pretty certain our foster home is no longer helping her. Her anxiety is up, not down. Yes, she has improved in many areas – she is better on the leash, she is accepting of her crate, she knows commands like sit, stay, and come. She is not trying to escape our house.

In other ways, though, I feel she has peaked and is regressing. Her reactivity to people has increased, and I believe that’s a combination of her becoming attached to us (and feeling she needs to protect us), and my nervousness when she meets someone new. I always worry how she will react. Gala is an extremely sensitive dog. And Gala loves me beyond reason. This combination becomes combustible when we are in public places where her anxiety is already ramped up.

This realization is what drove me to tears. I wrote that I don’t think I can save her, but I didn’t mean that someone else couldn’t. Continue reading People Save Dogs, but Dogs Can Also Save People

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Best of the Blog

Hi blog readers!

I’m traveling in England and Cyprus this week, but I thought I’d share a few of the best moments of the blog this year.

Of course Fruitcake takes the cake (so to speak).

Here’s a post explaining his Swimmer Puppy Syndrome.

And here are a few pictures of Fruitcake (now Brodie) from his adopter, showing a very different dog nearly a year later. Continue reading Best of the Blog

Travel Adventures

Traveling with two puppies took me back to the days of traveling with my toddlers. We had to pack their beds, playpen, toys, food, snacks, extra jackets (it was gonna be cold), stuff to entertain them in the car, and plenty of supplies for cleaning up after them. Once the car was loaded, we buckled Buford and Frankie into the backseat and set off for Virginia to celebrate our anniversary hiking, wine-tasting, and relaxing.

The boys traveled well for the two-hour trip, cuddled together and mostly sleeping. Every time I turned around to check on them, they’d morphed into a new formation. Continue reading Travel Adventures

What it Takes to Raise an Awesome Dog

Frankie and Buford have become bestbuds.

I know Frankie will miss Buford when he finds his forever family. And I’m sure that will be soon, because this is one awesome puppy.

He’s my sweet little shadow in the house, regularly nudging me with his big nose (think Spud McKenzie) asking gently for my attention. I traveled to Hanover with Buford for an adoption event and he slept quietly the whole drive which was hilly and long. At the event, he was calm and friendly—quite a difference from the other overly excitable puppy attending the event. They really don’t make much nicer pups than this. Somebody is going to score bigtime with this adoption.

I know having dogs and puppies coming and going may seem a bit disruptive emotionally for Frankie, but it’s my greatest hope that instead of being a negative experience for Frankie’s little heart, it’ll be a positive one. He’ll discover that there are LOTS of dogs to love and that even though I might be paying a lot of attention to the latest visitor, that dog is just that – a visitor. I’m hopeful it will make Frankie a welcoming, confident, friendly dog who is always ready to make a new friend.

Because that is exactly NOT the kind of dog Gracie is.

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Upon meeting any new dog, Gracie’s assumption is Continue reading What it Takes to Raise an Awesome Dog

Dog-Saving Justice League

Finally!  A new foster pup is on his way to us! Bronson (or Buford as he was called in his previous foster home) is a black and white colored lab/hound/possibly Catahoula mix depending on whose report you read. Any way you mix him, he’s pretty adorable, even in a bad shelter picture, see?

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Just last night, Frankie snuggled with Nick watching the Eagles win, softly gnawing on his arm, and Nick said, “He needs somebody his own size to chew on.”

Gracie has no patience for insistent puppies, and here’s the only way he can safely play with Gala (who LOVES him beyond reason or restraint): Continue reading Dog-Saving Justice League

Buyer’s Remorse?

You know how parents tend to overreact with their first kid? How they immediately assume the worst-case scenario so that every funny bump is cancer and every new word means their child is destined to win a Pulitzer?

This is me with Frankie.

He’s actually the second puppy I’ve ever adopted, Gracie being the first. When I adopted Gracie, though, I also had three kids at home, a traveling husband, and I was co-president of the PTO. There just wasn’t time to get all worked up over her every move.

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But now I only have one kid at home and he’s bigger than me and other than stocking the refrigerator (almost daily), he needs very little from me. Which gives me plenty of time to fuss over Frankie. Continue reading Buyer’s Remorse?

Frankie and OGGA

This time adoption day was a little weird for me. After all the puppies were adopted…..

Instead of cleaning out the puppy room, putting my feet up and opening a bottle of wine…. Continue reading Frankie and OGGA